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FC Dallas 0-3 Toronto FC: TFC Progress in CONCACAF Champions League

What a turn of events for both FC Dallas and Toronto FC in this MLS Season and in the CONCACAF Champions League. While Dallas has qualified for the MLS Cup playoffs, their dip in form has started to generate questions. While Toronto won’t be going to the playoffs again, their recent results have helped them improve in international cup competitions.

The acquisition of Ecuadorian youth Joao Plata has shown plenty of reason why Aron Winter stuck with him and used him in the starting eleven for Toronto and in the biggest match in the history of Toronto FC since 1996, where the club took down FC Dallas and advanced to the knockout stages.

Plata assisted on the first goal in the 29th minute as he found Danny Koevermans near the area. It was a blocked shot on Koevermans’ first chance, but he got a second attempt and converted it past Kevin Hartman for the early lead.

But in the second half it was all Plata all the time as he converted a brace and sent Toronto FC to the quarterfinals. In the 69th minute Ryan Johnson was along the near side, where he made a great cross near the area while Plata got into position and slotted the ball inside the far post.

His second of the night came in the 81st minute when he made a run from inside his own end at midfield. Beating a few defenders and getting inside the eighteen, Plata smacked a hard shot and all of Toronto was in party mood as they have equaled the Montreal Impact’s play in the 2008-09 Champions League.

The acquisitions of German international Torston Frings and former Ajax striker Danny Koevermans have paid off slowly for the club as Toronto FC knew they weren’t going to do much in the league, but came in at the right time for the CONCACAF Champions League.

This is a process that Toronto has to build on to make themselves successful in the league and not try for quick fixes like they have done in the past that ended up as failures. Aron Winter and Paul Mariner have done a good job and deserve credit for doing things the right way.

As for FC Dallas it looks like the long season with reaching the semi-Finals of the US Open Cup has started to take a toll on them. A dip in form and some results not going their way has lost a place in the quarterfinals after such a hot start.

But this is what happens if you’re having a terrible league season. You try to change your fortunes in a domestic cup or international cup competition to erase a horrible league season and this is what Toronto FC has done.

They went down to Pizza Hut Park and got themselves into the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, coming up in March, 2012.

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  1. Roger (SJ Quakes)

    October 21, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Even when Dallas were in a top spell last year, fans still did not
    pack the games. I mean, what else can be said; it’s Texas. For
    anybody that’s ever lived or been there, you’ll see culturally it’s
    a different country. American Football is the ‘King of all Sports’
    to them. I should know, as my parents were originally from the
    Dallas-Metroplex area and still have relatives there. I’m not
    trying to sound negatively cliche, but to them, soccer is a
    “foreign(er) sport and very futile to REAL Football”. That
    sentiment is spread through out most of the region. That still
    doesn’t explain Houston, but I imagine that city I more culturally
    mixed, so that sentiment isn’t spread as much.

  2. The original Tom

    October 20, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    An earlier draw for the group stage would help attendance. I
    remember as late as early August, the Rapids still did not have the
    schedule for the Champions League, and they were not a team that
    had to go through a qualifying round. If they could get the draw
    sooner, so teams could start to put in on the schedule and in their
    programs, it would help. It is similar to why the play-offs and the
    Open cup get poor attendances, for many an MLS game is still an
    event to fit between soccer tournaments and swimming meets, etc…

  3. SSReporters

    October 19, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Hell yeah. In a completely dreadful MLS campaign we finally beat
    the scum (Columbus) and now are in the CL QFs. Booyah. I hope we
    play Seattle AND beat them.

  4. Chris Riordan

    October 19, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    I’m happy for the league and TFC. It gets the fans excited, which
    hopefully keeps butts in the seats, which on turn hopefully keep
    average attendance up. Plus TFC has the makings of a real good team
    if they can keep key attacking pieces together and shore up the
    backline. Plus, who would have thought that Miles Kocic would turn
    out to be a decent keeper. As a DC United supporter, I certainly

  5. MrTuktoyaktuk

    October 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Due to the amount of rework the team needed, Winter/De
    Klerk/Mariner didn’t have much to offer through the season more
    than promises of better days ahead. To end the season with some
    concrete proof of team improvement, that is quite significant to
    TFC supporters. So the win was more than getting into the CCL QF,
    it may have reenergized a lot of TFC supporters who were, frankly,
    worn down by five years of constant problems and missteps. Entering
    the next preseason with a stable coaching staff, a core player
    roster (some postseason questions have to be worked out, namely
    Ecks and Plata’s loan arrangements) and a meaningful, high level
    objective already on the calendar (well, once the draw is done) –
    this is progress that might not be apparent from the black and
    white end-of-season standings on paper.

    • Charles

      October 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      I am glad that Toronto made it. The fans, while a little whiny,
      have been big for that team and the league. They deserve it.

  6. Daniel Feuerstein

    October 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I have no idea. Trying to get that question answered. It’s sad that
    the fans in Dallas and the suburbs are not helping the clubs cause.

  7. The Gaffer

    October 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Why were there only ~2,500 fans at the game last night?


    The Gaffer

    • Charles

      October 19, 2011 at 2:40 pm

      I am on the verge of becoming a casual fan hater. No not soccer
      mom. I was standing next to one at the game yesterday. She loves
      soccer and enjoyed the watching two really good teams. It is the I
      will watch Man U-Liverpool on Saturday, but not know the Sounders
      are playing the team that won CONCACAF last year, guy. The guy who
      thinks he is NOT a casual fan…………………… I know I
      shouldn’t hate. No not because everyone is entitled to their
      opinions and can watch who they want to watch……that might be
      true, but they are still complete morons. Wrath is what they
      deserve………….I shouldn’t hate because I was sitting in a
      $500 million stadium, on a perfect fall night, watching two of the
      best teams in the world play soccer….and the tickets were
      available…and dirt cheap……..I told my buddy when I saw him at
      halftime, this can’t last forever like this…..he thought maybe it
      could. Are Americans soccer fans that stupid ? It might be a yes
      answer. 2,500 in Dallas….wow.

      • Robert

        October 19, 2011 at 2:58 pm

        I have to agree with you Charles. I’m supporting Sounders and
        Galaxy in the CCL and was a bit sad to see Sounders Stadium not as
        packed as usual. The turn out was nothing to sneeze at but the CCL
        is a very important tournament and not to mention against a Mexican
        power house. Hopefully Sounders can still qualify for the quarters.
        Good luck

        • Mark

          October 20, 2011 at 2:08 am

          Robert, The sounders were already qualified for the quarterfinals
          before the Monterrey game. all they had riding on the game was
          whether they advanced as the group winner or runner up. congrats to

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